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Marty, a "good boy," experiments with marijuana and experiences "profound mental and emotional disturbances." As in all anti-drug films of this vintage, marijuana leads straight to "H," and Marty's decline continues until he is busted, rehabbed and reformed.
Drug Addiction's stilted view of the urban drug culture and unrealistic portrayals of stoned slackers make it entertaining viewing today. It belongs to that little-known "second wave" of anti-drug films, the postwar scare stories about middle-class kids overcome by junkiedom. What this wave of films reveals is that drugs were an issue for white adolescents long before the psychedelic Sixties, and that the official response to the threat expressed a general, not specifically targeted paranoia.
Ken Smith sez: This film chronicles the decline and fall of "Marty" (see Are You Ready For Marriage?), a "good boy" who becomes a junkie. Marty's experimentation begins with marijuana, which produces "profound mental and emotional disturbances." Marty then goes straight to "H," which he buys from Louie, the local dealer (who keeps his stash in a lamp base). Marty is caught, sent to a drug rehab center (where he cuts down dead corn stalks and plays checkers), and reforms. The scene where Marty and some of his stoned friends drink out of broken Pepsi bottles is memorable. As in all drug films, the marijuana sequences are the most entertaining. "Thoughtless curiosity can lead to a lifetime of pain and torment!" The street pushers in this film wear turtlenecks.
This film begins with EXCELLENT shot of teens at a drive-in, sitting in convertible. Also, shot of teens stealing camera
"the very thoughtlessness of youth" leads to it
"wherever there is a troubled personality, no matter how hidden or unrecognized, there may be a seed bed for drug addiction"
"started by a friend. drug addiction is contageous"
"he was determined to be one of the gang if it killed him"
"befogged brain...a clever way to open pop bottles"
(pepsi PHOTO 7:32)
"will it make me sick like the reefers?" "I dare ya!"
(mainlining PHOTO 9:05)
Duke: "Mainline it. Like I'm doin'! The stuff costs too much to waste it."
Marty: "I don't wanna punch myself fulla holes like that."
(stealing from mom PHOTO 11:59)
"plagued by sudden attacks of vomiting and of diarrhea"
"You wouldn't help your mother out of a rat hole." "Don't be a square. You ain't got no chance. You're just a junkie to everybody around here."
John Galvarro -- "Marty Demalone" Beulah Brandon -- "Mrs Demalone"
- 2002-07-16 00:00:00
- Closed captioning
- United States
- Run time
Subject: Straight Talk
Subject: This film would have saved me; instead we got "say no to drugs"
In the 1980s-1990s, all we got was "say no to drugs" and "DARE to keep kids off drugs". These campaigns lacked any information. At first I was ok. I rejected drugs continuously until I was about 17 years old. But one weekend vacation with my best friends, they brought reefer and used it and told me they had been using it for 2 years without telling me. (they kept it secret because they had been good friends and didn't want me getting started or they were afraid I would abandon them if they told me I don't know which). We were a bunch of golden boys, kids of millionaires in private school, with nothing to do but spend lots of money. Anyhow that weekend I tried the reefer and never stopped reefer after that, until it became a drain on my heroin funds. Yes the reefer lead to heroin within 1 year via a different group of wealthy reefer users in my private school (the drug clique of said school, from whom I had begun getting said reefer. In the 1990s they all had very baggy jeans that touched the floor and got ragged at the bottom, disgusting). But these guys also used coke, speed, acid, ecstacy, and the holy of holy's, God's greatest gift to man, H. To these kids, getting and using H was the highest goal. They (and later we) worshipped this drug. In the beginning we could only get it once in a great while, so we were ok. But eventually I found a fantastic hookup with a guy who brought it in from offshore! I had to drive 2 hours each way to meet this guy but did so once a week and got $750 of pretty high grade stuff which I would make last that week. Still in college and still running a shopping center I had bought in my college town. But within 4 years after that, there began to be problems in my supply chain, causing horrible sickness and failure of school and business performance. At one point the stuff was so weak I had to spend $12,000 in one week on dope. I had to sell my good car and buy a cheap one, to fund that one week. After finding myself in a county jail cell in withdrawal for the second time, it dawned upon me that perhaps this path in life was not going to work out as hoped. I told my father I was a junky. (This part is key. I had kept this a secret from him only because he said he wouldn't support any kid on drugs. Don't ever say that to your kids! Tell they you will support them through any problem that arises!!). If I had told him in the beginning, before I got hooked, I'd have been ok. He was a wonderful guy and I never lied to him about anything except this. With his help, I left the scene, moved 1000 miles away, and went onto methadone and still take that to this day, mainly because I have other diseases which predate the drug use, which cause great pain. Methadone attenuates that pain to make life bearable.
In my youth we had no drug education. Just a couple dumb slogans which only work for a while, until inevitably you do what your friends are doing.
I used medical books for my drug education. Prior to doing heroin I read about 6 medical books. Every one of them said that withdrawal from heroin was 3-5 days of mild discomfort, similar to the flu. Well I had the flu and got through that easily, so I felt it was well worth it to achieve the highest goal, the greatest physical feeling ever possible, better than sex, etc. of Heroin. So these medical books failed me too. It isn't 3-5 days of mild discomfort. I tried to kick on many occasions. The worst of them was on the floor in the bathroom for 2 weeks, only to be revived by more heroin.
Another truth in the film... the only way to come off heroin is in a hospital!! I did that 3 times and it was actually an enjoyable time every time. No pain. Came out in great shape. Unfortunately, I never stayed in hospital long enough to pass the withdrawal window, so I came out of hospital and after about two days withdrawal started in again and more drugs to stop the withdrawal. But that's the case with any hospital stay in America today. They always discharge you prior to your recovery. They want that bed for more valuable patients. There is no money in recovery. Just surgery and initial treatment.
Cheers. all if you read this far.
Subject: I created a music video using footage from this film
The Aquaerials - "Turn the Devil Down"
Subject: Ain't no vacation
Subject: Marijuana Cigarettes
Actually like 2 of those boys, pot makes me puke. Even the smell of it. The stuff going around today is particularly skunky.
Except for the limbo stick, it's the sole contribution to American society made by Caribbean blacks.
Well done film, actually.
Subject: I found this one in one of my encrypted boxes
Subject: Response to kfinn- Public Domain?
If you look at the main page from where you select your Prelinger Archive title, scroll down and on the left you will see a box titled "Rights". There you will see that these are completely free to use in whatever way you wish. Hope this helps.
Subject: Public Domain?
Subject: A great campy film
Subject: Never never Land
I might also add that,like most anti drug messages past and present, the film leaves out two of the most commonly used and potentially dangerous drugs, namely alcohol and tobacco. Also, worthy of mention , note the solutions to the drug problem proposed in the film, namely reporting addicts to the police, tougher drug prohibition laws, tougher enforcement, etc. have all been tried over the 50 years passed since the film has been made and have not put a dent in the drug trade or drug useage.
Otherwise, the film is a really tacky, campy, bizzare and so retro which makes it interesting. If it were a full length movie it would be on a par with "Reefer Madness" and/or "Marijuana-The Devils Weed". It's a great film if you enjoy tacky retro drug films.
Subject: The Sordid Past of Sue's Fiance
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: *****.
Subject: Drug Addiction
Subject: Any one know of other sites like this?!
Any ways, if any one knows where I can acquire similar films or any similar sites like the prelinger archives, please write me at
I would greatly appreciate it. These films have a wonderful mixture of perversion and wholesomeness that is just marvelous.`
Subject: Flawed, funny, but sadly true
When talking about slippery slope arguments in my classes, I use the drug films of this era as an example. My teachers in the 1960s showed similar films in PE class. Smoke one joint and WHAM! you are addicted to heroin.
I'll admit that I laughed at the images. The drug pushers who stand in doorways wearing trenchcoats and dark glasses. The drug kingpin who keeps his stash inside a lamp on his desk (The cops will never find it in there!). And the scene with boys hopped up on drugs stealing a case of Pepsi, smashing the bottles against a wall, and then laughing as they cut their mouths on broken glass was just too bizzare.
With all of its flaws, though, the story contained a kernel of truth. When my son was 16, his mother and I placed him in a drug rehab center. His drugs of choice were marijuana and alcohol. He exhibited the same behaviors we see in Marty: the moodiness, the evasiveness, the slackers and losers for friends, the petty theft, the poor grades. We took action before there were any brushes with law enforcement.
In the film, the judge sends poor Marty off to a state-supported drug rehab program. How many of those exist today? I'll bet not many. And the state rehab facilities that do exist are vastly underfunded. My wife and I were fortunate that our health insurance covered the cost of our son's treatment in a private facility.
The film is heavy-handed in its delivery. It contains fallacious arguments: the slippery slope and the appeal to fear. My students know that not everyone who smokes marijuana will become instantly addicted to heroin. But most of them have stories about a friend who is addicted to hard drugs, someone who started out by smoking a just a little weed.
Love to all,
Subject: Meanwhile. in Bobbi-Sox Land..
I've seen this film before on the big screen, and it's GREAT to see it again, A MUST SEE on this site!
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